FROM the PRESIDENT
Hello Wisconsin Bowhunters Association membership.
I am Richard Kirchmeyer, the newly elected President of WBH. This past year I turned 66 years young, and I have been married to my lovely wife Tonya for a little over 40 years. I grew up and still live in northern Wisconsin where I have had the great privilege to be able to hunt, fish and trap all my life. Bowhunting became a part of my lifestyle at the age of 16 when I harvested a doe fawn. That experience was such a rush to me that I became hooked on bowhunting. Since then, I have harvested numerous whitetail bucks, with 8 of them making the Pope & Young record book. I have harvested 15 bears, with 2 of them also making the P & Y record book. A turkey I harvested with archery equipment in 1991 was a 5 bearded non-typical bird which scores near the top in the records books. I did and still love the outdoors, bowhunting every critter I can, whenever I can.
I joined WBH in 1976. Over the early years I enjoyed being a member attending a few broadhead shoots and attending some annual membership conventions. For the past 20 plus years I have served you as a WBH board member, representing District 2. While on the board I have been the Legislative Liaison, WBH Secretary, and Vice President. I still represent WBH as the DNR Liaison. In that capacity I serve on 5 DNR committees with voting rights where I make sure our bowhunting rights and privileges are protected.
During my time serving on the board, I have served under 3 presidents – Wright Allen, Mike Brust and Dave Peterson. These gentlemen have taught me a lot and they continue to serve as directors, working to support WBH, the nation’s largest member based bowhunting organization.
As the newly elected President of WBH, on behalf of myself, the WBH board and the WBH membership I would like to thank Dave Peterson for his dedication and leadership while serving as our past president. Dave continues to serve WBH as the director for District 6. Thank you Dave.
This year’s convention was a great experience for all who attended. There were some great raffles, silent auctions, a NASP tournament and the usual camaraderie that occurs when likeminded people join together. Our guest speaker, Pat Lafemine was awesome! During the banquet we had a live auction where we have auctioned off an annual convention commemorative arrow. This year that arrow made $3,000.00 for WBH. All I can say is WOW!! Those attending also got to see the first elk harvested in modern history with archery equipment. The elk was shot by WBH’s Dan Evenson, who was given the WBH Member of the Year award.
The Horicon Marsh Bowmen are a 101% membership club who supports WBH in a very special way. Each year they hold a WBH benefit banquet with the majority of the proceeds going to WBH. This year Horicon Marsh Bowmen donated a little over $23,000.00 to WBH. Thank you, Horicon Marsh Bowmen, for your continued support of WBH. With this year’s donation, the Horicon Marsh Bowmen have now donated $510,856.00 in the last 26 years to WBH for use in Preserving, Promoting and Protecting bowhunting in Wisconsin. This is a truly amazing gift to all bowhunters!
The Annual Wisconsin Conservation Congress/DNR spring hearings will be a little different this year. Between the dates of April 3 and 6, town hall meetings will be held in each county in the state. Visit the DNR website and check the events calendar to find the place and time for the meeting in your county. At these meetings WCC delegates will be elected and you will have the chance to talk to DNR employees and your county WCC delegates. Then, from April 10 through 13 you will be able to go online and vote on this year’s questions in the DNR, WCC and Natural Resources Board sections. Again, check the DNR website for information on how to place your votes. Please make an effort to attend the hearings and place your votes. There are a few questions that pertain to or will affect bowhunters now or in the future if passed.
Over the past 10 plus years WBH has awarded a Learn to Hunt Bear Harvest permit to a lucky youth through our LTH application process. This year Nolan Enke, a 12-year-old from Jefferson was the lucky winner. Nolan will be coming to my place in Price County to hunt bear in August. I am sure he and his family will have a great time in the north woods. A cool occurrence happened this year at the convention. I gave a seminar on bear hunting and both the 2022 LTH recipient, and 2023 LTH recipient were in attendance listening to me talk about bears.
I pray that over the coming year I can continue to be a good leader for WBH. I know the WBH directors will help me as we work together to serve the association to make sure bowhunting continues to thrive here in this great state. If you have the opportunity to convince a fellow bowhunter to join WBH, PLEASE do. The more members we have the stronger our collective voice in protecting our rights and privileges.